Will Small Scale Retailers Survive Side by Side With the Large-Scale Retailers

All of the advantages enjoyed by the large-scale retail stores apparently suggest that no small-scale retailer would be in a position to survive. But in practice the case is different, and it is hoped side by side that the small-scale retailers would not diminish so early due to the above mentioned limitations of large-scale retail stores.

Out of the analysis of the merits and demerits of large-scale retailing one may come to the conclusion that small scale retailing will also exist side by side with large-scale retailing. This is particularly true in our country.

By reason of the emphasis on mass retailing as carried on by department stores, chain stores, super markets, discount houses, and mail-order houses, it might appear that there is no longer room for the small retailer. But it is obvious that single-unit establishments constitute the great majority of the retail stores.

The small retailer has an important place in the structure of our retail markets which he can hold on the basis of supplying a service that is needed by his customers and for which they are willing to pay. There are opportunities to render a variety of services, to handle various combinations of merchandise, to stock unusual goods, and to select locations particularly adapted to groups of consumers. He can more easily adapt his methods of Operation to changes in environment that can the large organisation.

It has been suggested by the research findings in the U.S.A. that three types of independent small retail stores are particularly likely to persist :

(a) The small store operated at a low expense, either because it is run in connection with the family residence by family labour, or because it is operated as a side line by a man/woman who has another principal occupation.

(b) The store operated by a man who prefers to work independently even though at a smaller income than he might receive working for someone else.

(c) The high-class service store, which operates on a basis of quality and service.

At one time someone wondered whether the “great proliferation of small stores….has not in a large measure been rendered obsolete and that, from a marketing point of view, it might not be better to shut them up.

Another authority restudied the small retailer and concluded that this situation will continue to play an important role in the marketing system. The latter view is supported by many for the following reasons, :

(1) The long-run stability of the small stores suggest that their operation has elements which will enable them to continue as a major retail institution.

(2) To hundreds of small retailers, retailing is a way of life as well as a way of making a living. They will not abandon it unless they are forced to do so.

(3) The small independent retailers have demonstrated a great deal of flexibility in adjusting to changing conditions.

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